New Release: Breitling Superocean Heritage ’57
A surprising release comes our way in the new Breitling Superocean Heritage ’57 and we have all the details. Let’s dive in…
Breitling has been on a roll for a couple of years now. When looking at releases such as the Premier, the various limited edition reissues, or the reintroduction of the Top Time, it’s clear to us that the brand has returned to form.
Under the leadership of Georges Kern, Breitling has done what so many have us have been asking for such a long time. That means producing watches in human sizes and respectfully honoring its back catalog. With today’s Breitling Superocean Heritage ’57, the trend continues. Oh, and let’s add a little spice to the soup because this just might be my favorite of the year from any brand.
The Current Superocean Lineup
Let’s set the table a bit. The Superocean lineup is currently comprised of two distinct lines. There’s the “normal” Superocean series of modern dive watches spread over four diameters and a litany of dial and strap combinations.
Then, there’s the Superocean Heritage that adds a chronograph along with three different diameters of three-hand diver. These pieces combine some retro touches with a more modern case. With the Breitling Superocean Heritage ’57, we have a third leg to the stool albeit in the form of a capsule collection. That’s “Breitling speak” for a non-numbered limited series that has no definitive expiry date.
The Breitling Superocean Heritage ’57 gets its name from the fact that the very first model was released back in 1957 as the reference 1004. Now, you know I love vintage, but I can unequivocally tell you that the 1004 is one of the loveliest watches I’ve ever had the pleasure of handling. The first Superocean is a diver at heart, but it’s so light and elegant. Whether you’re taking in the wildly sloped bezel, the ridiculous case side profile, or the distinctive indices, the 38.5mm watch is a marvel for the eyes. What makes it even more forbidden-fruit-like is that Breitling never really returned to this design.
A reference 807 chronograph debuted a couple of years later, but that was a short run as well. If you’re looking for either today, get ready to drop tens of thousands. We now have a modern answer.
The Breitling Superocean Heritage ’57
The Breitling Superocean Heritage ’57 comes to us in three unlimited variants. Black, blue, and a two-tone model with black dial and 18K red gold bidirectional rotating bezel are the choices. The watches can be paired with a leather strap and pin buckle or butterfly clasp. Or, a new Ocean mesh bracelet is available. As a bonus, this Swiss-made mesh promises to be thinner and more tapered than the current offering.
These watches measure at 42mm in diameter across the bezel. But the greatest news is that the underlying case is just 38mm. And the thickness? An incredible 9.99mm! Lest you think this will be a lengthy watch, put those concerns aside. That 38mm case-middle diameter means 46mm is your lug-to-lug and the lug width is 20mm. Domed anti-reflective sapphire sits next to that dramatically sloping matte ceramic bezel.
A chronometer-certified B10 automatic caliber powers the Breitling Superocean Heritage ’57. That translates into either an ETA 2892 or Sellita SW300 sans date function! A double-gasket crown and a solid screw-in case back help ensure 100 meters of water resistance. Finally, in a move that should please modernists, Breitling chose non-aged Super-LumiNova on those lovely round “oven dial” indices. Pricing for the stainless models is set at €4,120 on pin buckle, €4,350 on butterfly and €4,570 on mesh. The two-tone edition will retail for €4,950 on pin buckle, €5,180 on the butterfly, and €5,400 on the mesh.
A Funky Limited Edition
It’s 2020 and that means we also get a limited edition version of the Breitling Superocean Heritage ’57. 250 numbered — not individually — pieces of this rainbow version will be available. I’ve been looking at this model for several days now and while it most certainly wouldn’t be my choice, I applaud its semi-outlandishness. And again, with only 250 available, it’s a small risk to take. Pricing is only €180 more than the regular stainless versions. This means €4,300 on pin buckle, €4,530 on butterfly and €4,750 on mesh.
What a Great Release
Dive watches are everywhere and if you look at the scads of micro brands out there, it would be easy to come away thinking they’re easy to design and make. I think that’s wrong. There are a lot of really good dive watches, but the Breitling Superocean Heritage ’57 has the chance to be great. I love the restraint here and having seen some much larger, less faithful prototypes early on, the final products are simply fantastic.
This isn’t window dressing using a current case with a new dial and bezel. This is a brand new case with tailored parts galore. Detractors will bemoan the use of a third-party movement, but here again, the use of other time-only movements at Breitling’s disposal would have added thickness to the case. Bravo on the choice. We’ll also hear concerns of only 100 meters of water resistance. Take that argument to confession where you come clean about being scared of swimming in the deep end of your clubhouse pool. Here again, I’ll take that elegant case over a portly wrist beast every day.
On My List
I need another new watch like I need a hole in the head. I ran out of fake reasons years ago to add a watch to the stable such as “vacation watch”, or “beater watch”. Hell, I’ve probably even exhausted reasons such as “watch I wear to the supermarket on Wednesdays between 8:00 and 8:45pm”. That being said, I want the new Breitling Superocean Heritage ’57 when it hits shops in June. I want it in black on mesh. It’s gorgeous and looks like a fantastic daily watch that can do it all. I applaud this surprise release. Now, let the hits continue!
For more information, visit the official Breitling site.